Tag Archives: celiacs

Thursday Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Yesterday I forgot to say Happy Halloween, so….HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope you all got lots of awesomely dressed trick-or-treaters. We got one (Darth Vader) and he looked very confused when we gave him dried fruit leathers. Haha.

Also, today I am on my way to my first ever business trip! Me and the three coworkers are headed down to Orlando, FL for 4 days for a conference on health, wellness, and leadership. I’m actually kind of excited 🙂

On a totally different note, here’s the post for today:

This recipe is grain-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free. Sounds disgusting right? WRONG. I had heard rumor of the awesomeness of Spaghetti Squash but this was my first experiment with the pretty yellow gourd. I decided, since it’s already in the name, to make Spaghetti and sub the noodles for squash.

Mike and I were a little wary but jeez it’s good! A little time-consuming because the squash has to be cooked for a while but other than that it’s super easy.

Ingredients (makes 3 servings):

1 spaghetti squash

1 can crushed tomatoes/tomato sauce

1 lb ground beef (grass-fed) or organic ground turkey/chicken

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Cut the squash in half and cook at 450°F (230°C)  for 45 minutes. While it’s cooking, simmer the tomato sauce, beef/poultry, and garlic.

When the squash is slightly brown, take it out and go at it with a fork! It’s easier than it looks, I promise.

Mix the noodled squash with the butter, salt, and pepper.

Top with the cooked sauce and enjoy!

It’s a great evening meal because it doesn’t spike your insulin levels like normal pasta does. Keep those sugar and carb levels down before bed!

Smile, it’s almost Friday 🙂

Recipe Thursday: Simple Roast Potatoes

Happy almost weekend! Thursdays are my cleaning mornings and I’d like to procrastinate that very much and so, let me post a recipe.

For whatever reason I’ve always been terrible at making potatoes. Their thickness and readiness to burn without cooking on the inside are a source of endless frustration for me. Ok, that may be a bit dramatic but it does annoy me. So I decided on Sunday that I would conquer the potato, and I did! Also, I made a huge batch of these so we could have them for lunch during the week. This is a great way to cut back on prep and cooking time when you don’t have any spare minutes during the week.

Here are the ingredients but I can’t stress enough that if you don’t have everything, just improvise. Smell the food then the spices you have and pick out which ones you think would go best. That’s why cooking is awesome, it’s based simply on your senses.

Ingredients:

potatoes, peeled and cubed (any kind of potato works)

olive oil

garlic

jamaican all spice

salt

pepper

Instructions:

Heat oven to 475°F. Get out a shallow baking pan. You don’t need to prep the pan (awesome!).

^ Quickly mix the oil and all spices in a large bowl.

^ Dump in cubed potatoes and mix it all with your hands. This is super messy, fun, and perfect to do with kids. (I know I look skeezy in this photo but Mike took it and I didn’t want to test his patience, he was already helping me peel potatoes).

^ Spread the potatoes on the baking sheet. Slide it into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally to brown on both sides.

^ And this is the result! Ours were a bit too oily but still SO DELICIOUS. And so easy to make.

*My mom makes the most incredible roast potatoes. Same recipe but she uses red potatoes, keeps the peel on, chops them in bigger chunks, and adds rosemary. Also, SO YUMMY.

I hope you’re all having great mornings. We’re getting so close to the weekend 🙂

Thursday Recipe: Build-a-Salad

 

*to those interested, birthday update at the bottom of the page

Whenever I mention healthy eating, people’s automatic reaction is, “I hate salad.” Let me share something, me too. The typical restaurant salad is cold, unsavory, and wholly unsatisfying. But I’ve recently determined that they’re doing it wrong. As I’ve mentioned before, my current lifestyle goal is only eating grain for lunch and restricting carbs at dinner. This is not to lose weight but to prevent a haphazard insulin spike right before bed. So “salads” have become my go to dinner options and I’ve realized, they’re not all that bad!

To build a great salad just replace whatever carb you were going to use (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc) with dark leafy greens (I prefer spinach). This means that you get the healthy without sacrificing the hot and savory.

Recently, in the vain of cooking a big portion of one thing, I made cooked a big batch of lentils and steamed some extra veggies I had lying in my fridge. Here is the result:

^ Start with the leafy green base. Don’t worry, it will be covered up soon.

^ Add whatever warm veggies you decided to cook. I have zucchini, red bell peppers, and eggplant.

^ Pile on whatever protein you want. I made lentils but you could do any kind of meat or legume.

^ Top it off with a healthy fat like goat or sheep cheese (pretty much lactose free) and some oil based dressing like balsamic or italian. And enjoy!

* Final note: My birthday ended up being quite wonderful. My coworkers remembered and even gave me gifts. I got so much love through this blog and facebook and texting and phone calls. AND Mike came home from his business trip early! He surprised me at work with flowers, a bottle of wine, and a Gap coat that I’ve been eyeing for months. What wonderful people I have in my life. Thanks everyone 🙂

Today, just smile.

 

Braving a World of Junk Food: Packing a Lunch

As I last posted, I’ve been working the Morton Pumpkin Fest for the last several days. If any of you know of the festival, you know it’s full of some seriously delicious junk food; including but not limited to: pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin funnel cake. Everything delicious, in pumpkin flavor!! It’s my own personal temptation hell.

However, it’s so important to learn how to brave these situations and so that you can join the rest of your community celebrating awesome things like Fall!

Some Tips:

1. Choose one thing to treat yourself to and wait until the end of your trip to do it. The buildup will make sure you don’t violate your own rule.

2. Make sure, before you leave the house, that you eat a big, healthy meal. Being full means you’ll be less tempted by anything other than your planned treat.

3. Bring some snacks! This is where dinner leftovers make things quick and easy.

 

Here was mine for an 8 hour shift at the fridge:

– Sandwich – gluten-free bread, sunflower butter, and blackberry jam we found at the farmers market.

– Smoothie – coconut water, 1 banana, handful of frozen fruit, handful spinach, scoop of protein.

– Salad – whatever is in your fridge. Mine was tomatoes, spinach, pinto beans from the chili last week, and humus.

Tools that make it easy:

– Resealable container like a Tupperware.

– Blender bottle for the smoothie. It’s not only easy to drink out of but it has a little spring ball that you keep in the liquid and when you’re ready to eat you just shake it all up.

– Lunch box/ bag keeps things cold or hot and easy to carry.

^ My handy dandy lunch box.

I was full and happy with my lunch and this morning, as a treat for resisting for 5 days, I had a giant pancake breakfast!

Enjoy your Sundays. Don’t forget to smile!

Produce: Where and How…

Happy Saturday! Holy Bajolies this week has been crazy. I seriously can’t believe it’s Saturday already. Saturday morning is my grocery shopping time and I have a full day of work this afternoon so I woke up bright and early (and not too happily), did a quick spot of yoga to loosen up my stiff joints, and headed across the street to Peoria’s best farmer’s market.

 

A few awesome things about farmer’s markets:

1. You know exactly where everything comes from.

2. It’s all fresh.

3. It’s mostly organic too, although you have to check on this one.

4. You’re supporting the local farmers and keeping out the unhealthy, mass farms.

5. You get outside and interact with your community.

6. The food is SO much tastier than the grocery store produce.

7. You’re eating seasonal which varies your diet and provides inspiration in the kitchen.

Some things to be cautious of:

– Keep an eye on pricing, sometimes one or two items can be very expensive.

– Don’t over buy. It can be tempting with all the beautiful colors in front of you. But here’s a tip, go with a certain amount of cash (I take $25) and leave once you’ve spent it.

– Scan the whole spread of vendors before choosing the stands you will buy from, you may get to the end and realize one was much better than another.

Other than that, enjoy! I buy 50% of our fridge stock from our market and it’s made our diet so much better. I’ve come to look forward to it every week.

Check this site out for almost all the markets in the US: http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/

For those outside the US, just google “Farmer market [name of your town].”

^ pretty!

don’t forget —>  🙂

Low Grain, High Protein, Gluten Free Breakfast!

Low Grain, High Protein, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, and Raw. I realize it sounds pretty gross but I’m telling you, this “granola” is DELICIOUS. When I’m not home to cook, this is what Mike has for dinner. Haha.

I started making this stuff when I started my new goal of less grain/carbs for breakfast and dinner and much higher protein. Granola is my #1 choice for breakfast but I can be kind of picky. That’s why I was so surprised that it is SO GOOD. It’s a twist on another recipe from the awesome book in this post.

Ingredients:

1 cup pepitas, aka pumpkin seeds (they’re really high in protein and so yummy)

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup brown rice protein, OPTIONAL

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup raw almonds, slivered or sliced

3/4 cup raw walnuts, in pieces

1 cup dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries, or a mix!

1/2 cup GF oats

Instructions:

Grind up pepitas, sunflower seeds, and coconut. I use a tiny food processor I got at Goodwill. You could do it in a blender though, or just leave everything whole. Pour all that into a gallon ziploc bag. Add all other ingredients. Shake it all up. Scoop out 1/2 to 1 cup, pour some almond or coconut milk over it. Enjoy!

This is possibly the easiest all-at-once breakfast I’ve ever made. It takes about 10 minutes to make a batch to last 2 or 3 weeks. And, because it’s so high in protein, it keeps me full for hours.

Another tip, keep the granola in the gallon bag with a 1/2 cup measuring cup in there. This way you can ration your supply saving you money and preventing over indulgence.

 

Smiles are contagious, plant one right on your kisser and keep it there all day 🙂

Recipe Thursday: Quinoa Scramble

I am definitely not the healthiest person I know but I am towards the top of the list. One of the ways I make sure that I never fall back into bad habits is that I’m always working on something. Always taking baby steps.

My current baby step: more carbs for lunch, less for dinner. The theory is that I will actually use the energy they give me if I eat them for lunch but at night, they just sit in my stomach, converting to sugar then fat.

So I cooked this recipe to take to work for lunch and I had a salad for dinner! My dessert plate had some sugar in it but that’s the next step I’ll be embarking on.

This recipe is awesome because it has some grain but it’s also full of protein, nutrients from the produce, and good fat. *note: the less you cook the vegetables in the beginning, the more nutrients stay in them. Its gluten-free, dairy free, and sugar-free (yet tasty?). And it’s so QUICK AND EASY!

Quinoa Scramble Ingredients:

high heat oil like sunflower or coconut oil

produce that was 24 hours from going bad (my fridge had handful spinach, 1/4 onion, 1/2 tomato)

3 eggs

1/4 cup almond or coconut milk

quinoa (bought these cool ready-made packages at the grocery store)

salt and pepper

Cooking Instructions:

^ Preheat the skillet on medium heat, grease with high heat oil. Add chopped produce and saute until only slightly crunchy (my spinach had wilted).

^ While its cooking scramble the eggs with the milk.

^ and prep the quinoa in Tupperwear so you can take it with you.

^ Add the eggs to the pan and scramble them all up. Cook until the eggs are done.

^ and plate it! Sprinkle with some salt and pepper then cover it immediately to keep moisture and heat in. If you put it in an insulated lunch bag like I have, you shouldn’t need to reheat it.

Enjoy!